PPBF: Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?

TITLE:  Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?

AUTHOR: Tanya Lee Stone

ILLUSTRATOR: Marjorie Priceman

PUBLICATION INFO: Henry Holt/Christy Ottaviano, 2013

ISBN: 9780805090482

SOURCE: library

INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 4 and up

GENRE: nonfiction picture book

OPENING and SYNOPSIS:

“I’ll bet you’ve met plenty of doctors in your life. And I’ll bet lots of them were women. Well, you might find this hard to believe, but there once was a time when girls weren’t allowed to be doctors.”

From the publisher:

“In the 1830s, when a brave and curious girl named Elizabeth Blackwell was growing up, women were supposed to be wives and mothers. Some women could be teachers or seamstresses, but career options were few. Certainly no women were doctors.

But Elizabeth refused to accept the common beliefs that women weren’t smart enough to be doctors, or that they were too weak for such hard work. And she would not take no for an answer. Although she faced much opposition, she worked hard and finally—when she graduated from medical school and went on to have a brilliant career—proved her detractors wrong. This inspiring story of the first female doctor shows how one strong-willed woman opened the doors for all the female doctors to come.”

THEMES/TOPICS: science, biography

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: Tanya Lee Stone’s voice is pitch perfect in this book. She writes in a zippy, irreverent tone that’s a perfect match for Elizabeth’s personality and Priceman’s illustrations. Stone proves that picture book biographies don’t have to be stuffy, even if the protagonist hails from the 1800s.

RESOURCES/ACTIVITIES:

  • What child doesn’t like to pretend to be a doctor? Fisher-Price offers this classic.
  • A readers’ guide and alignment to Common Core State Standards guide is available through Stone’s Web site.
  • ReadWriteThink offers an Elizabeth Blackwell classroom activity.

You’ll find way more cool books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s “Perfect Picture Books.” Every Friday folks review a host of new books. Join us!

Let’s Explore Science Titles Available for Preorder

Science Fair Success Cover
Cover credit: Rourke Educational Media

My first two books from Rourke Educational Media are available for preorder. USING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD and SCIENCE FAIR SUCCESS! are for fourth grade and up and would make a great addition to a school or library collection.

Here are details about SCIENCE FAIR SUCCESS! Science fairs can be a timely assignment, but they can also be fun, rewarding, and sometimes help you to earn scholarships and prizes, too! The recipe for a great science fair or engineering project has just a couple of simple ingredients: a topic you care about and a question you can test. Learn every step of how to make your next science fair or engineering project a winner by following the detailed instructions, helpful hints, and design information in this title. So, don’t be scared, be prepared, and you are sure to have science fair success! This book allows students to understand how knowledge of relevant scientific concepts and research findings is important in engineering

 

PPBF: Thomas Jefferson – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything

TITLE: Thomas Jefferson – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything

AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Maira Kalman

PUBLICATION INFO: Penguin’s Nancy Paulsen Books, Jan. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-24040-9

SOURCE:  library

INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 5 to 8 (publisher), but I think 7 and up is a better estimate

GENRE: picture book biography

OPENING and SYNOPSIS:

“Thomas Jefferson had red hair and some freckles (about 20 I think), he grew to be very tall and oh yes, he was the third president of the United States.

From the publisher:

“Renowned artist Maira Kalman sheds light on the fascinating life and interests of the Renaissance man who was our third president.

Thomas Jefferson is perhaps best known for writing the Declaration of Independence—but there’s so much more to discover. This energetic man was interested in everything. He played violin, spoke seven languages and was a scientist, naturalist, botanist, mathematician and architect. He designed his magnificent home, Monticello, which is full of objects he collected from around the world. Our first foodie, he grew over fifteen kinds of peas and advocated a mostly vegetarian diet. And oh yes, as our third president, he doubled the size of the United States and sent Lewis and Clark to explore it. He also started the Library of Congress and said, “I cannot live without books.” But monumental figures can have monumental flaws, and Jefferson was no exception. Although he called slavery an “abomination,” he owned about 150 slaves.

As she did in Looking at Lincoln, Maira Kalman shares a president’s remarkable, complicated life with young readers, making history come alive with her captivating text and stunning illustrations.”

THEMES/TOPICS: U.S. history

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: Many picture book biographies of Jefferson focus on Jefferson’s roles as writer of the Declaration of Independence or President of the United States. Kalman’s book is the first I’ve seen that addresses Jefferson as a complex character, a man who condemned slavery while owning 150 slaves, and a man who might have had children with his slave, Sally Hemings. This is heavy stuff for young children, and I think much of the subject would be difficult for children younger than 7 to understand. Kalman’s conversational tone and bright artwork lighten some of the weightier topics. And I do appreciate that she is forthright with young readers, showing them that nobody’s perfect, not even Thomas Jefferson.

RESOURCES:

You’ll find way more cool books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s “Perfect Picture Books.” Every Friday folks review a host of new books. Join us!

PPBF: PAPA’S MECHANICAL FISH

TITLE: Papa’s Mechanical Fish

AUTHOR: Candace Fleming

ILLUSTRATOR: Boris Kulikov

PUBLICATION INFO: Farrar Straus Giroux’s Margaret Ferguson Books, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-39908-5

SOURCE:  library

INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 4 to 8

GENRE: picture book (historical fiction)

OPENING and SYNOPSIS:

“This is my papa.

And this is his backyard workshop, where he spends his days thinking … tinkering … and inventing things.”

From the publisher: “Clink! Clankety-bang! Thump-whirr!  That’s the sound of Papa at work. Although he is an inventor, he has never made anything that works perfectly, and that’s because he hasn’t yet found a truly fantastic idea. But when he takes his family fishing on Lake Michigan, his daughter Virena asks, “Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a fish?”—and Papa is off to his workshop. With a lot of persistence and a little bit of help, Papa—who is based on the real-life inventor Lodner Phillips—creates a submarine that can take his family for a trip to the bottom of Lake Michigan.”

THEMES/TOPICS: history, science, inventions

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because “it’s almost true,” as Fleming states in her author’s note. Fleming uses her note to tell us what’s known about Lodner Phillips and his various submarines, as well as what remains unknown. The book does rely upon made-up dialog, accompanied by repetitive phrases, and plenty of onomatopoeia for lots of read-aloud fun.

RESOURCES:

You’ll find way more cool books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s “Perfect Picture Books.” Every Friday folks review a host of new books. Join us!

PPBF: Sophie Scott Goes South

TITLE: Sophie Scott Goes South

AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Alison Lester

PUBLICATION INFO: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-544-08895-5

SOURCE:  library

INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 6 to 9

GENRE: picture book (fiction)

OPENING and SYNOPSIS:

“Woohoo! I’m going to Antarctica! That’s right, me, Sophie Scott.

From the publisher: “Nine-year-old Sophie is going on a month-long voyage to Antarctica, with her dad, the captain of an icebreaker. Sailing the frozen seas round-trip from Australia to Mawson Station in the South Pole, Sophie recounts the adventure of a lifetime in her own words, illustrations, and color photographs. She’ll show us icebergs, penguins, seals, and whales! It’s a dangerous journey, but Sophie is well prepared for the thrills and chills that await her on top of the world.

This friendly, informative, and beautifully presented picture book is based on the author’s own experiences and shows the wonder of Antarctica through a child’s eyes.”

THEMES/TOPICS: nature, geography

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I love this book because of its connection to Alison Lester’s own trip to Antarctica in 2005 as an Antarctic Arts fellow. During her six-week journey, she sent emails and letters to schools and family with details of her trip. Many students wrote back, sending their pictures of Antarctica and the places and animals Lester described. The children’s pictures appear in the book as part of Sophie’s diary.

RESOURCES:

  • This National Geographic site is one of the best there is for learning about Antarctica. Learn about animal ranges, physical geography and more.
  • KIDSDISCOVER has a free Antarctica lesson plan.
  • Check out these cool photos from the Smithsonian.

You’ll find way more cool books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s “Perfect Picture Books.” Every Friday folks review a host of new books. Join us!

New Issues: ODYSSEY and ASK

ODYSSEY (January 2014)
ODYSSEY (January 2014)

New issues of ASK and ODYSSEY are on their way packed with new information about Mars. Do you wonder how people might survive a trip to the Red Planet? Hint: It might require drinking cleaned and recycled pee. Are you curious about whether life ever existed on Mars? If if did, it sure didn’t look like you and me. Check out my stories, “Adventures in Extreme Recycling” (ASK) and “Calling All Martians” (ODYSSEY).

Merry Christmas!

ASK (January 2014)
ASK (January 2014)